White House Officials Admit Abortion, Tiller Holding Up Kathleen Sebelius Pick

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

White House Officials Admit Abortion, Tiller Holding Up Kathleen Sebelius Pick

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 26
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — White House officials have acknowledged that abortion and the controversy surrounding embattled late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller are holding up President Barack Obama’s potential selection of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to become the next Health Secretary.

As LifeNews.com previously reported, White House aides told the New York Times last week that Obama had settled on naming the pro-abortion governor as his top health official.

Following the news, pro-life groups launched an all-out blitz to highlight Sebelius’ extreme pro-abortion views and her cozy relationship with Tiller, one of the few to do abortions so late in pregnancy.

Yesterday, a district court judge dismissed an effort by Tiller’s attorneys to throw out charges the state attorney general has filed against him for allegedly doing illegal abortions.

Now, White House officials tell CBN News that abortion and the Tiller-Sebelius connection are causing pause when considering Sebelius for the Cabinet post.

CBN News White House correspondent David Brody indicates that a senior Obama administration official confirmed that "concerns voiced by pro-life groups about potential HHS Secretary Nominee Kathleen Sebelius have come up in high level White House discussions but it has not disqualified her from the job."

The official also admitted that "Tiller’s name has come up in discussions and acknowledges that if she’s picked there will be people gunning for her, but that ultimately the Kansas Governor is getting a bum rap on the abortion issue."

"The discussion inside the White House centers on whether Sebelius’s stellar record as public servant trumps the controversy that could arise over Tiller," Brody indicates.

At the same time, a senior Republican official in Congress told CBN News that abortion would play a big role in discussions about her.

"Her nomination would raise serious concerns because her extremist pro-abortion views are so far outside of the American mainstream," the GOP aide said.

There is little doubt Obama, who is strongly pro-abortion, will appoint a pro-abortion Health Secretary, but he and his top staff will have to decide whether or not they want to appoint someone like Sebelius whose record is so radical.

Sebelius won the governorship with large donations from Tiller, who is currently on trial for allegedly doing illegal abortions.

She appointed abortion practitioner Howard Ellis – who gave up his medical license in Missouri to avoid disciplinary action – to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. That’s the agency that is responsible for monitoring medical staff and centers to make sure they comply with the law. Ellis was later charged by the Board with attempting to persuade a physician to falsify records.

Sebelius also appointed a supporter of Tiller’s political action committee and pro-abortion activist to the Human Rights Commission, which pro-life advocates considered an irony.

Sebelius’ hand-picked attorney general, Paul Morrison, ran for office as a defender of the abortion industry. After only a few months in office, he was forced to resign amidst reports of having sex in public buildings with a subordinate and abusing his authority to obstruct the investigation of abortion practitioners.

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